clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Do the Falcons have the best running back tandem in the league?

New, comments

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are pretty great.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Insider’s Field Yates ranked NFL running back duos for all 32 teams, and he says Atlanta’s tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman ranks at the top of the NFL.

The Falcons currently rank fifth in the league for rushing yards per game, and Freeman and Coleman have racked up 375 yards and four touchdowns through three games. The dynamic duo also challenges defenses as receivers out of the backfield, totaling 142 yards and one touchdown through the air so far.

Yates says both Coleman and Freeman are "dynamic, one-cut runners," and notes Freeman’s explosive campaign last season. Freeman had 1056 rushing yards, 578 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns during a 2015 season that culminated in a Pro Bowl appearance.

Coleman’s rookie season didn’t necessarily live up to expectations for the third round pick, but he’s coming along in his second season. In 12 games last season, Coleman had 392 yards and one touchdowns, with three fumbles. Over the offseason, Coleman worked on his hands and developed as a receiver. His hard work has paid off so far.

Yates ranked Coleman and Freeman ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams, the Tampa Bay BuccaneersDoug Martin and Charles Sims, and the Kansas City ChiefsJamaal Charles and Spencer Ware.

Some have wondered if either Freeman or Coleman will get angry about splitting carries, but the reality is that these two players are brothers, and they just care about helping the team win. If their productivity is sustainable, they’ll do exactly that.